STAY SAFE ONLINE
SOCIAL MEDIA / GAMING SECURITY GUIDES
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The internet. A fantastic place for you to learn, listen to music, catch up with friends and play games.
The majority of people are genuine, however there are some people online who are not who they say they are.
Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to lie online and some people are very clever at making you believe their lies, even if you’ve been chatting to them for ages and they feel like a trusted friend.
It’s a fact that there are some people who use the internet to chat to young people because they want to hurt them or make them do things they don’t want to.
It’s impossible to know if someone you meet online is genuine or a fake. Here are CEOP’S top five things to look out for while chatting online:
Too good to be true?
Giving presents and making promises
Putting you under pressure
Leaving public places
‘Just our little secret’.
Tips to chat with confidence
Stay safer when chatting online, remember these CEOP tips:
• What could they find out?
If you post stuff online, think about how much people could find out about you from it. Have you posted about your favourite music or sports? Have you posted anything embarrassing you wouldn’t want your parents or a teacher to see? Remember, people do lie online and the more information they have about you the easier it is for them to try to trick you.
• Don’t say too much
If you’re chatting to someone, don’t tell them anything which could help them find you in the real world – things like your full name, school, email address or even photos. Remember, even if you’ve been chatting for ages you still can’t be sure that they aren’t up to no good.
• Be careful on cam
It can be really unsafe to chat on webcam with people you meet online. If you do anything embarrassing - things you wouldn’t want your friends or family to see - it’s really easy for them to record it. Some people online will threaten to share an embarrassing video or picture with other people if you don’t do what they say. If anyone threatens you in this way they are breaking the law and you should report them to CEOP. Whatever has happened, you won’t be in trouble.
• Don’t meet up without an adult you trust
People do lie online so it’s always risky to meet up face to face with someone you’ve met online. If you do meet up with someone, make sure you do it in a busy public place and take an adult you trust with you. If you take a friend you could put them at risk as well. Tell the person you're meeting you want to meet in a public place and that you're bringing an adult with you. Anyone who genuinely wants to be friends should understand that you want to make sure you are safe.
• Block and report
Most websites you can chat on will let you ‘block’ other people if don’t want to talk to them anymore. Learn how to do this on any sites and apps you use. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or upset ‘block’ them.
• Know how to report
No matter how long you’ve been chatting and whatever has happened it’s never too late to seek help if someone starts being weird with you, makes you feel uncomfortable, worried or frightened. If you don’t want to talk to an adult you trust you can always phone ChildLine on 0800 1111 or report to CEOP. They will understand and be able to help. You won’t be in trouble.
Worried about someone you’ve been chatting to online?
Talk to an adult you trust, like a parent, carer, teacher or youth worker. If you don’t want to speak to someone you know there are organisations who can help. You won’t be in trouble.